A new poll shows broad support for legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes but Ohioans are more divided over gay marriage and abortion.
Quinnipiac University released a poll Monday that found 87 percent of Ohio voters support the use of medical marijuana, even though three out of four say they’d be uncomfortable riding with a driver who had used it, 47 percent say it is equally as dangerous as alcohol and 43 percent say it may lead to the use of other drugs.
Half of Ohio voters support same sex marriage while 44 percent oppose it, the poll found. Support is strongest among Democrats, women and younger voters.
Gay marriage advocates in Ohio are debating over whether to put the issue to voters in November or wait until 2016 when support may be more solid. Younger voters, who are more likely to turn out for a presidential election, will be key to whether Ohio would overturn its constitutional ban on gay marriage.
The poll found a significant generational divide over gay marriage and medical marijuana. Seventy-two percent of voters 18 to 29 years old support legalizing medical pot while 65 percent of those over 65 years old oppose it.
On same sex marriage, 71 percent of younger voters support it while 59 percent of those over 65 oppose it.
“Given that younger voters support same sex marriage almost 3-1, it would seem to be just a matter of time,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
When it comes to abortion, the poll found 53 percent of voters say it should be legal in all or most cases while 41 percent said it should be illegal in all or most cases.
Gov. John Kasich received a negative 26 — 34 percent score from voters for his handling of the abortion issue.
The poll was conducted over cell and land lines Feb. 12 to Feb. 17 with 1,370 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
By Laura A. Bischoff - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)
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